Public Health

How Much Does a Flu Shot Cost Without Insurance in 2021?

Jacqueline Slobin
Jacqueline Slobin1 Dec 2021

The out-of-pocket cost for a flu shot is between $20 and $70. However, the price will vary depending on what kind of flu vaccine you receive. Most insurance companies will cover your flu shot at several pharmacies or urgent care facilities. 

There are several types of flu shots that you may be able to get this year. The most common types of flu shots are the quadrivalent flu vaccine and the high-dose flu vaccine. 

  • The quadrivalent flu vaccine protects against four different flu viruses.
  • The high-dose flu vaccine can be given to adults over 65 to create a more robust immune response and protection against flu viruses.

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The Cost of a Flu Shot Without Insurance

The average cost of a high-dose flu shot without insurance is typically around $70. The CDC private sector cost for a quadrivalent flu shot ranges from $16.94 to $25.76. However, the price you pay may be higher at some locations due to additional fees.

See the chart below for prices at major pharmacies such as CVS, Walmart, Rite Aid, Costco, and Walgreens. If you have not gotten vaccinated this flu season, it is recommended that you get the flu shot as soon as possible.  

The Cost of a Flu Shot at Major Pharmacies

PharmacyFlu shot cost
Walgreen・Flu-Fluarix2: $40.99
・Flu-Afluria2: $40.99
Walmart・Fluzone-quadrivalent: $36.88
・Fluzone High-Dose: $76.50
・Flublok-quadrivalent: $76.50
CVSQuadrivalent (standard vaccine): $40.99
・Flublok-quadrivalent: $73.99
・Fluzone High Dose or Fluad: $73.99
Costco・Afluria and Flucelvax: $19.99
・Fluad: $46.99
Pricing reflects Costco Member Prescription Program Discount Card, which may vary by location.

Source: GoodRx

Urgent care centers also provide vaccinations, including the flu shot. Below we outline the out-of-pocket cost for a flu shot at urgent care centers.

The Cost of a Flu Shot at Urgent Care Centers

Urgent CareCost
CityMD
  • Regular Dose: $30
  • High Dose: $65
PatientFirst
  • Regular Dose: $35
Physician One
  • Beginning Monday, October 4 the cost for a flu shot for uninsured patients is $25.
CVS MinuteClinic
  • Seasonal (ages 18mth+): $50
  • Seasonal Flublok (ages 18yr+): $74
  • Seasonal high dose (ages 65yr+): $74
AG Urgent Care
  • Flu - High dose: $52
  • Flu - Intradermal: $25
  • Flu - Quadrivalent: $25
  • Flu - Seasonal: $25
  • Flu Vaccine for Children (all doses): $0

How to Get an Affordable Flu Shot Without Insurance

Depending on your location, there are several likely options for you to get a flu shot at a low cost

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The Vaccines for Children Program (VFC)

The Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program helps provide vaccines to children whose parents or guardians may not afford them. To qualify for this federally funded program, a child must be under 19 years old and be any of the following:

  • Without health insurance
  • Underinsured
  • Medicaid-eligible
  • American Indian
  • Alaska Native

Vaccines provided by VFC are free, but there may be an administration or office-visit fee. Contact your local VFC coordinator to find doctors who work with the program. Or, you can visit a public health clinic, federally qualified health center, or rural health clinic to get vaccines through VFC.

Local Health Centers

Local health centers may provide free or low-cost vaccines for the flu season in addition to other primary healthcare services to those in public housing or veterans. You’ll have to check with your center, as requirements for the flu shot vary from place to place. 

You can find local health centers through the Health Center Program website.

Prescription Savings Clubs or Cards

Prescription Savings Clubs or Cards are accessible through several pharmacies, including Walgreens, Kroeger, CVS, Rite Aid, and more. At Walgreens, anyone is eligible to sign up for this savings method, regardless of whether they have insurance or not. It's important to know that the membership can only be used with cash purchases and provides up to a 20% discount on vaccines. Bonuses and points can be accumulated to spend on other products at the pharmacy. 

State Immunization Programs 

Through State Immunization Programs, vaccines are provided at a low cost through government and pharmaceutical funding. All state programs are different and can be read about more on your state’s health department website. Each department will provide vaccines they find necessary for public health in their state at public and private healthcare providers. 

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The Cost of Other Vaccines

The cost of recommended vaccines varies depending on your insurance plan. If you have private insurance, you will likely get most of the recommended vaccines for free or with a small copayment. 

If you are covered by Medicare Part B, you will be able to get some vaccines for little to no cost. The included vaccines are the flu shot, pneumococcal disease vaccine, and the hepatitis B vaccine if you have a pre-existing condition. If you are covered by Medicare part D, you will be able to get the shingles vaccine and the Tdap vaccine for little to no cost. 

The cost of vaccines for adults who are covered by Medicaid varies significantly by state. If you are covered by Medicaid, you will likely access a flu shot for little to no cost. If you are not covered by insurance, the out-of-pocket cost of vaccines varies depending on the vaccine type and where you are vaccinated. 

Below we outlined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and private sector costs for some adult vaccines. Note that the prices may be highest due to additional fees at your testing location. 

The Out-of-Pocket Cost for Different Vaccines

Vaccine TypeCost Per Dose Range  
Hepatitis A$32.86 -$109.13
Hepatitis B$25.43 - $121.25
HPV$140.59 - $227.93
MMR$48.86 - $78.68
Pneumococcal $62.69 - $202.00
Tdap$24.89 - $46.80
Td Booster$16.27 - $25.88
Varicella$82.04 - $135.73
Shingles$101.51 - $151.41

Reccomended Vaccines

Several vaccines are recommended for all adults in the United States. First, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) state that every adult in the U.S. should get an influenza vaccine (flu shot) every year. All adults should also get the Tdap vaccine to protect them against whooping cough if they do not get it as adolescents. After getting the Tdap vaccine, all adults should also get a Td booster vaccine every ten years. 

In addition to these vaccines, all adults between the ages of 19 and 26 should get the HPV vaccine, protecting them from developing certain cancers. Several vaccines are recommended for adults over 50, such as the shingles vaccine and the pneumococcal vaccine. There are other recommended vaccines for adults who have pre-existing conditions, work in health care, or did not receive certain vaccines during childhood. Some of these vaccines include MMR, hepatitis A, and hepatitis B.  

Bottom Line

There are two common flu vaccines; the quadrivalent flu vaccine and the high-dose flu vaccine. Your flu shot will likely be covered at several pharmacies or urgent care facilities if you have insurance. If you don't have insurance, the cost of quadrivalent flu shots can range from $0 to $50.